First it was fraudulent and predatory lending that put thousands of people in Cuyahoga County into mortgage purgatory. Now, unemployment is threatening homeowners in greater numbers - especially in the suburbs. Ideastream's Bill Rice reports.
For the first time, according to a new report by Cleveland State University's College of Urban Affairs, the number of foreclosures in the suburbs has surpassed those within the city of Cleveland, where two years ago the crisis was exploding. In the last year, Cleveland has seen a slight drop in foreclosures, largely due to the fact that the number of high adjustable rate mortgages has leveled off, and many have been negotiated into more reasonable terms, says Paul Bellamy, Director of the county's Foreclosure Prevention Program.
Bellamy: "The investor had much lower expectations, understood that a lot of the problems were in its origination, and were looking for a way just to get the thing producing income again."
But in the case of losing a job, which is happening to a greater degree in suburban households, Bellamy says there are fewer options available to a distressed homeowner.
Bellamy: "Now you're looking at a situation where the loan was well underwritten to a strong borrower, but the money just isn't there to support the rest of the expenses of the household and the mortgage."
And so as jobs continue to disappear, Bellamy expects the number of foreclosure cases to continue to rise. Nationally, experts are predicting that the number of foreclosure filings has not yet peaked.
Bill Rice, 90.3